Friday, January 21, 2022

[Botany • 2022] Thismia latiffiana (Thismiaceae) • An Unusual New Species from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia

Thismia latiffiana Siti-Munirah & Dome,

in Siti-Munirah & Dome, 2022. 
Thismia burung hantu  ||  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.188.77061

Thismia latiffiana Siti-Munirah & Dome, a new species from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia, is described and illustrated. The new species differs from all other species of Thismia, described so far, in having golden trichomes that are present on the outer surface of its floral tube and mitre, as well as pyramidal protuberances on the inner surface of the floral tube. Additionally, it is remarkable in its supraconnective apically bearing two long trichomes. Thismia latiffiana is assigned a preliminary conservation status as Critically Endangered (CR) according to IUCN Criteria.

Keywords: Hulu Nerus Forest Reserve, lowland dipterocarp forest, mycoheterotrophic, taxonomy

  Illustration of Thismia latiffiana Siti-Munirah & Dome 
 A habit, showing roots, young bud (Ai; note stems covered with trichomes), mature flower (Aii) and fruit (Aiii; note glabrescent stem with trichomes detached) B Leaf (adaxial) C bract (adaxial), smaller bract (Ci) D longitudinally dissected floral tube showing inner (abaxial) view of stamens and apical parts of connectives E portion of inner surface of floral tube (upper part) F trichomes on outer surface of floral tube; G outer (adaxial) view of stamens showing lateral appendages H stamen, view from below I gynoecium, longitudinal section, showing pistil with trilobed stigma and ovary J seed. 
All from FRI94686 (spirit material). Drawings by Mohamad Aidil Noordin.

Thismia latiffiana Siti-Munirah & Dome
 A walking trail near the habitat B plant in its habitat
C plant ex-situ.
Photos by Siti-Munirah MY (A, C) and Dome Nikong (B).


 Thismia latiffiana Siti-Munirah & Dome, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Thismia latiffiana differs from all its congeners by the following combination of traits: the presence of golden trichomes on the outer surface of floral tube and mitre, outer tepals absent, inner tepals form a mitre without appendages, an inner surface of floral tube covered by pyramidal protuberances and supraconnective bilobed with each lobe terminated by a long, needle-like trichome.

Distribution: Endemic to Peninsular Malaysia, Terengganu. Currently known only from the type locality.

Ecology: In a lowland dipterocarp forest, on moist soil, under shade, near an open place (walking trail) (Figure 4) at elevation of 220 m. Flowering from December to February.

Etymology: Thismia latiffiana is named in honour of Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Abdul Latiff Mohamad, a prominent botanist and conservationist in Malaysia.

Vernacular name: We suggest a local name as ‘Thismia burung hantu’ in Malay, due to its appearance resembling an owl (‘burung hantu’ = owl).

 Mat Yunoh Siti-Munirah and Nikong Dome. 2022. Thismia latiffiana (Thismiaceae), An Unusual New Species from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys. 188: 105-114. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.188.77061


[Botany • 2021] Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis (Lentibulariaceae) • A New Species of Utricularia (Sect. Orchidioides) from the Amotape-Huancabamba Zone of North Peru

Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis T. Henning, E. Rodr. & J.P. Allen. 

in Henning, Allen & Rodríguez-Rodríguez, 2021.  

A new species of Utricularia Section Orchidioides: Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis sp. nov. (Lentibulariaceae), endemic to Northern Peru is described and illustrated. It is known from two populations so far, both located in the Province Bongará, Dpto. Amazonas at ca. 2200 m altitude. The new species inhabits the páramo of the low white sandstone plateaus, an extension of the southern branches of the Condor mountain range in the southeastern part of the Amotape-Huancabamba phytogeographic zone. A diagnosis, description, etymology and an identification key covering the Andean and selected similar species of the section are presented. The distribution, habitat, ecology, associated flora, preliminary conservation status, an observed hybridization with sympatric U. unifolia and the affinities of the new species with other related taxa are discussed. The new species is known from two close-by populations in the same region and likely affected by anthropic pressure. Threatening changes in land use, resulting in habitat fragmentation or loss or changing water regimes in the course of climate change will have severe consequences for the sensitive páramo ecosystem and thus the populations of U. amotape-huancabambensis. Therefore, this new spectacular species of Utricularia is preliminarily considered Critically Endangered (CR).

Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis.
 A, habit. B, leaves. C, inflorescence. D, flower, frontal view. E, flower, lateral view. F, calyx. G, stamen and pistil. H, utricle.
Drawing prepared by Olivia Mendoza.

Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis.
A, flowering plant, growing fully exposed to sunlight with upwardsbended, shield-like leaf. B, ditto, flower in front-lateral view. C-F, flower of a plant growing in the shade with thinner corolla and greenish calyx. G-H, inflorescence of the typical form. I-J, leaves growing out of the moss cushions. K, tuber. L, utricle, frontal view. M, utricle, lateral view.
All photographs by J. P. Allen.

Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis sp. nov. T. Henning, E. Rodr. & J.P. Allen. 

Diagnosis: Utricularia amotape-huancabambensis belongs to Utricularia section Orchidioides and is closely related to U. unifolia. It differs from it by having a more robust habit, a broadly ovate to rounded leaf lamina, longer petioles and inflorescences, much larger flowers with a white or slightly lavender corolla and an upper lip slightly longer and wider than the calyx. The spur is terminally curved downwards.

Etymology: The name refers to the Amotape-Huancabamba Zone, the area around the Huancabamba depression, a partial interruption of the Andean mountain range by the Chamaya river drainage system, which occupies large parts of northernmost Peru and the southern tip of Ecuador (Fig. 1). The mosaic landscape in this region is characterized by a remarkable diversity in different habitat types and a corresponding exceptional zoo- and phytodiversity. In particular, the high rate of narrow endemism concentrated in this relatively small area is intriguing and has led to the idea to consider this area a phytogeographical zone of its own right (such as e.g. the Capensis). “A sizable part of Andean biodiversity seems to be concentrated into this relatively small area, which makes effective protection of the diverse habitats of this zone a high priority” (Weigend, 2002). The name of this new species has been chosen to reinforce this demand and encourage Peru and Ecuador to intensify the urgent conservation efforts for the remaining habitats in this otherwise highly fragmented landscape. Both climate change and urban sprawl are massive threats especially to the remaining forest patches. They are home to an unparalleled diversity of flora and fauna, the known extent of which is here complemented by this emblematic species of flowering plant. The name is intended to serve as a hortatory reminder of the unabated destruction of irreplaceable biodiversity in areas such as the Amotape-Huancabamba Zone (Karger et al., 2021) that are both: heavily overexploited while still underexplored.

Tilo Henning, Joshua P. Allen and Eric F. Rodríguez-Rodríguez. 2021.  A New Species of Utricularia Sect. Orchidioides (Lentibulariaceae) from the Amotape-Huancabamba Zone of North Peru. Darwiniana. 9(2); 299-311. DOI: 10.14522/darwiniana.2021.92.955

Thursday, January 20, 2022

[Invertebrate • 2022] Ramisyllis kingghidorahi • A New Branching Annelid (Annelida: Polychaeta: Syllidae) from Japan

Ramisyllis kingghidorahi Aguado, Ponz-Segrelles, Glasby, Ribeiro, Jimi & Miura,

in Aguado, Ponz-Segrelles, Glasby, ... et Miura, 2022. 

Among over 20,000 species of Annelida, only two branching species with a highly modified body-pattern are known until now: the Syllidae Syllis ramosa McIntosh, 1879, and Ramisyllis multicaudata Glasby et al. (Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 164, 481–497, 2012). Both have unusual ramified bodies with one head and multiple branches and live inside the canals of host sponges. Using an integrative approach (combining morphology, internal anatomy, ecology, phylogeny, genetic divergence, and the complete mitochondrial genome), we describe a new branching species from Japan, Ramisyllis kingghidorahi n. sp., inhabiting an undescribed species of Petrosia (Porifera: Demospongiae) from shallow waters. We compare the new species with its closest relative, R. multicaudata; emend the diagnosis of Ramisyllis; and discuss previous reports of S. ramosa. This study suggests a much higher diversity of branching syllids than currently known. Finally, we discuss possible explanations for the feeding behaviour in the new species in relation to its highly ciliated wall of the digestive tubes (especially at the distal branches and anus), and provide a hypothesis for the evolution of branching body patterns as the result of an adaptation to the host sponge labyrinthic canal system.

Keywords: Mitochondrial genome, Phylogenetics, Sponge, Syllidae, Symbiosis, Morphology, Anatomy, Ecology

Ramisyllis Glasby et al., 2012

Diagnosis (after Glasby et al. (2012), emendations in bold).

“Ribbon clade” Syllinae, with non-flattened body, more or less cylindrical segments and a multiaxial, dendriform pattern; first branch occurring after segments 14–24. Branches emerging after parapodia (not replacing them or dorsal cirri) and showing same segment size and cirri length as previous branches. Three antennae; palps free to base; two pairs of tentacular cirri; pharynx slender, mid-dorsal tooth absent in adults; dorsal cirri articulated, with alternating thick/slender pattern on mid-body and posterior segments; ventral cirri present, not articulated, inserted proximally; single type of simple chaeta present, tomahawk-shaped. Sexes separate. Reproduction by schizogamy, gemmiparitity. Acerous, dimorphic stolons. Commensal inside shallow water species of Petrosia. Mitochondrial gene order strongly modified. Nuclear ribosomal sequences highly derived compared to other Syllinae.

Stereomicroscopy images of living specimens of Ramisyllis kingghidorahi n. sp. (A, C−H) and Ramisyllis multicaudata (B) for comparison.
Ramisyllis kingghidorahi n. sp. Holotype. B R. multicaudata anterior region, dorsal view; picture modified from Ponz-Segrelles et al. (2021), with permission. C Prostomium and first segments in detail, dorsal view. D Anterolateral view of prostomium with details of palps and pharynx everted. E and F. Pharynx everted in ventral view. G Branching asymmetries in dorsal cirri. H Branching asymmetries in body shape.
Scale bars: 1 mm A, B, 200 µm C, D, 100 µm E, F, 2 mm G, H

Ramisyllis kingghidorahi n. sp. and host sponge Petrosia sp.
A Anterior region in dorsal view, prostomium faces down. B Fragment of one specimen. C-F–f Host sponges in their natural habitat.
Scale bars: 2 mm A, B, 1 cm C, D and 5 mm E, F

Ramisyllis kingghidorahi n. sp. Aguado, Ponz-Segrelles, Glasby, Ribeiro, Jimi & Miura

Diagnosis: Species of Ramisyllis, sister-group related to R. multicaudata, long anterior tentacular and dorsal cirri (twice long as midbody ones), long proventricle (through 4 segments), stolon stalks similar to other segments in regular branches and proliferation of new branches in intersegmental areas.

Etymology: The name refers to King Ghidorah, the three-headed and two-tailed monster enemy of Godzilla. Both characters were created by Tomoyuki Tanaka based on Japanese mythology and folklore. King Ghidorah is a branching fictitious animal that can regenerate its lost ends. King Ghidorah is assumed to be a male and latinized accordingly.

Distribution and habitat: Coastal waters of Sado Island, Japan, around 15 m deep; symbiont of Petrosia sp. (pink form).

M. Teresa Aguado, Guillermo Ponz-Segrelles, Christopher J. Glasby, Rannyele P. Ribeiro, Mayuko Nakamura, Kohei Oguchi, Akihito Omori, Hisanori Kohtsuka, Christian Fisher, Yuji Ise, Naoto Jimi and Toru Miura. 2022. Ramisyllis kingghidorahi n. sp., A New Branching Annelid from Japan. 
Organisms Diversity & Evolution. DOI: 10.1007/s13127-021-00538-4

[Ichthyology • 2022] Scyliorhinus hachijoensis • A New Species of Catshark (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) from the Izu Islands, Japan

 Scyliorhinus hachijoensis 
 Ito, Fujii, Nohara & Tanaka, 2022

A new species of catshark genus Scyliorhinus, S. hachijoensis sp. nov., is described for the islands of Mikurajima, Hachijojima, and Torishima in southeastern Japan. Scyliorhinus hachijoensis has clasper hooks, which is a common feature in males of the most closely related species (S. torazame), but is distinguished by its coloration (presence of dark spots), the height of its anal fin (higher than the caudal peduncle), and the shape of pectoral and pelvic fins, and dermal denticles. Molecular data also corroborates the new species as a distinct and monophyletic taxon by nucleotide sequence analysis of three mitochondrial DNA regions.

Key words: Scyliorhinus torazame, Scyliorhinus hachijoensis sp. nov., Chondrichthyes, morphology

 Scyliorhinus hachijoensis, external morphology.
(A, B) NSMT-P 135960, male, 370 mm TL (off the east coast of Hachijojima Island).
(C, D) NSMT-P 135961, female, 322 mm TL (off the east coast of Hachijojima Island). Panels show
(A, C) dorsal and (B, D) lateral views of the specimens.
Scale bar = 30 mm.

Close-ups of the head of  Scyliorhinus hachijoensis, NSMT-P 135960, male, 370 mm TL (off the east coast of Hachijojima Island).
Panels show (A) lateral, (B) dorsal, and (C) ventral views.
 Scale bar = 20 mm.

Scyliorhinus hachijoensis sp. nov.

New English name: Cinder cloudy catshark; 
New Japanese name: Fukami-torazame.

Diagnosis: A species of Scyliorhinus distinguished by its anterior nasal flaps not reaching the upper lip (vs. flaps reaching upper lip, and sometimes covering it, in S. canicula, S. cervigoni, S. comoroensis, S. duhamelii, S. garmani and S. stellaris); nasoral grooves absent and posterior nasal flaps situated posterior to excurrent apertures (vs. nasoral grooves prexents and posterior nasal flaps laterally situated in S. canicula and S. duhamelii); mouth length less than half of mouth width (vs. mouth length more than or equal half of mouth width except in S. torazame and S. ugoi); anal fin height more than caudal peduncle height (vs. less than caudal peduncle height in S.boa, S. duhamelii, S. torazame and S. torrei), and greater than or equal to half of mouth width (vs. less than half of mouth width in S. boa, S. capensis, S. duhamelii, S. haeckelii, S. hesperius, S.meadi, S. torazame, S. torrei and S. ugoi); saddles darker than the background color (vs. inconspicuous or absent in S. boa, S. cabofriensis, S. cervigoni, S. duhamelii, S. garmani and S. torrei, and dark lines in S. retifer); body grayish brown to dark brown with well-defined light spots and small dark spots (vs. spots absent in S. retifer, yellow to golden spots in S. capensis, light spots absent in S. cervigoni, S. garmani, S. meadi and S. retifer, and dark spots absent in S. capensis, S. comoroensis, S. hesperius, S. meadi, S. torazame and S. torrei); light spots spiracle-sized or larger (vs. predominantly smaller than spiracles in S. boa, S. cabofriensis, S. canicula, S. duhamelii, S. stellaris and S. ugoi); dark spots smaller than spiracles (vs. predominantly larger than spiracles in S. cervigoni, S. duhamelii, S. garmani, S. haeckelii and S. stellaris); number of monospondylous vertebrae 34–36 (vs. counts higher except in S. duhamelii, S. torazame and S. torrei); clasper with hooks (vs. absent in all other species except S. torazame); accessory terminal cartilage present (vs. absent in S. cabofriensis, S. cervigoni, S. comoroensis, S. duhamelii, S. haeckelii, S. stellaris, S. torrei and S. ugoi); egg case surface with irregularities (vs. smooth in all other species).

Distribution: This species was recorded from the waters around the Izu Islands, Japan (Fig. 7). All specimens were captured by longline fishing for Splendid alfonsino, at depths of ca. 100–200 m around Mikurajima Island, ca. 200–400 m around Hachijojima Island, and ca. 500–600 m around Torishima Island.

Etymology: The species name “hachijoensis” refers to the species’ main collection area, Hachijojima Island. The English name is derived from “Cinderella”, because the dark spots on the body surface are similar to black ashes “cinder”. The Japanese name “Fukami” means “deep sea”.

Egg cases of (A, B)  Scyliorhinus hachijoensis and (C, D) S. torazame.
 (A, C) Dorsal view, scale bar = 10 mm. (B, D) Close-up of surface.
 Scale bar = 2 mm.

Nanami Ito, Miho Fujii, Kenji Nohara and Sho Tanaka. 2022. Scyliorhinus hachijoensis, A New Species of Catshark from the Izu Islands, Japan (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae). Zootaxa. 5092(3); 331-349. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5092.3.5

[Herpetology • 2021] Cyrtodactylus stellatus • A New Insular Species of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus Group (Reptilia, Gekkonidae) from Tarutao Island, southern Thailand revealed by Morphological and Genetic Evidence

Cyrtodactylus stellatus
Termprayoon, Rujirawan, Ampai, Wood & Aowphol, 2021

ตุ๊กกายเกาะตะรุเตา | Stellar Bent-toed Gecko ||  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1070.73659 

The bent-toed geckos of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus group are widely distributed along the Thai-Malay Peninsula. Although taxonomic and phylogenetic studies of this species group have been continuously conducted, only some populations from Thailand have been included, resulting in hidden diversity within this group. In this study, we used morphological and molecular data to clarify the taxonomic status and describe a new population from Tarutao Island, Satun Province, southern Thailand. Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by the combination of the following morphological characters: body size; tuberculation; number of dark body bands, ventral scales, and femoroprecloacal pores in males; presence of precloacal pores in females; and scattered pattern on dorsum. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial ND2 gene recovered the new species as the sister species to C. astrum, with an uncorrected pairwise divergence of 9.78–12.37%. Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. is currently only known from Tarutao Island, Thailand. The discovery of this species suggests that the diversity within the C. pulchellus group remains underestimated and future exploration of unsurveyed areas are needed to further the understanding of this group and its geographic range.

Keywords: Cyrtodactylus astrum, Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov., karst, morphology, phylogeny, taxonomy

Map showing the type locality of Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. from Tarutao Island, Mueang Satun District, Satun Province, Thailand and the type localities of closely related species, C. astrum, C. dayangbuntingensis, C. langkawiensis, and C. lekaguli.

Adult male holotype of Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. (ZMKU R 00905) from Tarutao Island, Satun Province.
A specimen in life and immediately before preservative: B dorsal and C ventral views.



 Variation of Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. 
 A adult female ZMKU R 00899 having 11 dark caudal bands on the original tail and white caudal bands infused with dark pigmentation B immature female ZMKU R 00902 (field number AA 05272) having 12 dark caudal bands on the original tail with immaculate white caudal bands, and C juvenile ZMKU R 00917 having light-yellow color on the body and bearing white tail tip.

Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov.
Stellar Bent-toed Gecko

Diagnosis: Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other species of the C. pulchellus group by the combination of the following characters: (1) SVL 86.3–95.9 mm in adult males, 86.6–96.1 mm in adult females; (2) 12–15 supralabial and 10–13 infralabial scales; (3) weak tuberculation on body; (4) no tubercles on ventral surfaces of forelimbs, gular region, or in ventrolateral body folds; (5) 32–47 paravertebral tubercles; (6) 19–23 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; (7) 32–40 rows of ventral scales; (8) 20–23 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; (9) 24–29 femoroprecloacal pores in adult males; (10) precloacal pores present in adult females; (11) deep precloacal groove in males; (12) dorsum bearing a scattered pattern of white tubercles; (13) four dark dorsal body bands; (14) 10–12 dark caudal bands on original tail; (15) white caudal bands in adults heavily infused with dark pigmentation; and (16) posterior portion of tail in hatchlings and juveniles white.

Figure 12. Habitat of Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. at the type locality, Tarutao Island, Satun Province, Thailand.
A Pha Toe Boo karst formation B karst microhabitat structure and C vegetation (vine) used by a juvenile in karst habitat.

Distribution: Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. is currently known only from Tarutao Island, Satun Province, Thailand (Figs 1, 12A).

Natural history: 
All specimens of C. stellatus sp. nov. were collected from a karst forest at night (1950–2100 h) with temperatures between 27.1–32.2 °C and relative humidity between 71.4–93.0%. The specimens were found on karst walls, within karst crevices and on nearby karst boulders. Some specimens occurred on tree trunks or vines near the karst formations (Fig. 12). The holotype was found on a karst wall approximately 1 m above the ground within karst forest. Eight specimens (ZMKU R 00900, ZMKU R 00906, ZMKU R 00908, ZMKU R 00911–00912, ZMKU R 00913, and ZMKU R 00915–00916) were found on karst walls from 0.5–3.0 m above the ground. ZMKU R 00907, ZMKU R 00910, and ZMKU R 00914 were found in karst crevices. Three specimens (ZMKU R 00901, ZMKU R 00903, and ZMKU R 00909) were found on karst boulders. Four specimens (ZMKU R 00899, ZMKU R 00902, ZMKU R 00904, and ZMKU R 00917) were perched on vegetation near karst walls or karst boulders.

Two gravid females (ZMKU R 00899–00900) were collected in November 2017 and contained two eggs (externally visible). The juvenile was found on a vine in May 2019. Cyrtodactylus stellatus sp. nov. appears to be nocturnal and sympatric with two other gekkonids, Gehyra mutilata Wiegmann, 1834 and the diurnal species Cnemaspis tarutaoensis Ampai et al., 2019.

Etymology: The specific epithet stellatus is Latin word, meaning starry or starred, and refers to scattered pattern of light-colored tubercles on dorsum and limbs. The name corresponds with the sister taxon C. astrum that shared similar diagnostic character (scattered light-colored tubercles pattern on dorsum).

Korkhwan Termprayoon, Attapol Rujirawan, Natee Ampai, Perry L. Wood Jr and Anchalee Aowphol. 2022. A New Insular Species of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus Group (Reptilia, Gekkonidae) from Tarutao Island, southern Thailand revealed by Morphological and Genetic Evidence. ZooKeys. 1070: 101-134. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1070.73659 

Natee Ampai, Attapol Rujirawan, Perry L. Wood Jr, Bryan L. Stuart and Anchalee Aowphol. 2019. Morphological and Molecular Analyses reveal Two New Insular Species of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Satun Province, southern Thailand. ZooKeys. 858: 127-161. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.858.34297

 L. L. Grismer, Perry L. Wood, Jr., Evan S. H. Quah, Shahrul Anuar, MohD. A. Muin, Montri Sumontha, Norhayati Ahmad, Aaron M. Bauer, Sansareeya Wangkulangkul, Jesse L. Grismer and Olivier S. G. Pauwels. 2012. A Phylogeny and Taxonomy of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Bent-toed Geckos of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae): combined morphological and molecular analyses with Descriptions of Seven New Species. Zootaxa. 3520: 1-55. 

[Paleontology • 2022] Nailiana elegans Dawn of Complex Animal Food Webs: A New Predatory Anthozoan (Cnidaria) from Cambrian

Nailiana elegans Ou & Shu, 

in Ou, Shu, Zhang, Han, ... et Mayer, 2022. 

Public summary: 
• Polypoid animal from early Cambrian of China is a stem-group anthozoan cnidarian
• Anthozoan ancestor inferred to be soft-bodied, solitary polyp of octoradial symmetry
• The new anthozoan provides the oldest direct evidence of macrophagous predation
• Macrophagous predation may have triggered complex food webs in early Cambrian

Cnidarians diverged very early in animal evolution; therefore, investigations of the morphology and trophic levels of early fossil cnidarians may provide critical insights into the evolution of metazoans and the origin of modern marine food webs. However, there has been a lack of unambiguous anthozoan cnidarians from Ediacaran assemblages, and undoubted anthozoans from the Cambrian radiation of metazoans are very rare and lacking in ecological evidence. Here, we report a new polypoid cnidarian, Nailiana elegans gen. et sp. nov., represented by multiple solitary specimens from the early Cambrian Chengjiang biota (∼520 Ma) of South China. These specimens show eight unbranched tentacles surrounding a single opening into the gastric cavity, which may have born multiple mesenteries. Thus, N. elegans displays a level of organization similar to that of extant cnidarians. Phylogenetic analyses place N. elegans in the stem lineage of Anthozoa and suggest that the ancestral anthozoan was a soft-bodied, solitary polyp showing octoradial symmetry. Moreover, one specimen of the new polyp preserves evidence of predation on an epifaunal lingulid brachiopod. This case provides the oldest direct evidence of macrophagous predation, the advent of which may have triggered the emergence of complex trophic/ecological relationships in Cambrian marine communities and spurred the explosive radiation of animal body plans.

 Key words: cnidarian phylogeny, stem-group anthozoan, metazoan evolution, macrophagous predation, Cambrian animal food webs

Figure 1. Early Cambrian Nailiana elegans gen. et sp. nov.
(A) Two specimens preserved on the same slab and designated, respectively, as the holotype (ELEL-SJ080824-1) and paratype (ELEL-SJ080824-2).
(B) Counterpart of the holotype (lateral view), showing eight slender, prehensile tentacles (numbered) and the column with fine longitudinal grooves. (C) Interpretive drawing of the holotype. (D) Close-up of the paratype (oblique oral view), showing the elevated mouth region (arrowheads), oral disc, and eight tentacles. (E) Close-up of the holotype.
co, column; fg, fine longitudinal grooves; od, oral disc; te, oral tentacles. 
Scale bars, 5 mm in (A–C, E) and 2 mm in (D).

Figure 3. Interpretive reconstruction and inferred phylogenetic position of Nailiana elegans gen. et sp. nov.
 (A) Reconstruction of N. elegans capturing a lingulid brachiopod (artwork by Xi Liu).
(B) Summary of metazoan phylogeny derived from Bayesian analyses of 126 characters and 42 taxa under Mkv + Γ model (see Figure S6 and Text S4 for details). Numbers at nodes indicate posterior probabilities. N. elegans is resolved as a stem-group anthozoan. Cambrian problematica Xianguangia, Daihua, and Dinomischus are basal among the Cnidaria. Neuralia, Bilateria, Nephrozoa, Protostomia, and Deuterostomia are monophyletic. Animal silhouettes by courtesy of PhyloPic (

Reconstruction of Nailiana elegans gen. et sp. nov. capturing a lingulid brachiopod
(artwork by Xi Liu).

Phylum Cnidaria Verrill, 1865

Class Anthozoa Ehrenberg, 1834

Nailiana elegans Ou et Shu gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. The generic name honors the first author's grandmother, Nailian Fu (1912–2009), in memory of her benignity and elegance. In addition, “nailian,” lotus-like in Chinese, alludes to the overall appearance of the new taxon. The gender is feminine. The specific name refers to the graceful body shape of the new taxon.
Referred material. A total of 15 specimens (Table S1) housed in the Early Life Evolution Laboratory, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China. Two individuals (ELEL-EJ080482-1, 2) preserved on the same slab are herein designated as the holotype and paratype specimens, respectively.

Horizon and locality. All specimens were collected from the Eoredlichia-Wutingaspis Biozone in the Yu'anshan Member of the Heilinpu Formation (Cambrian series 2, stage 3) in the Huaguoshan section at Erjie, Yunnan, southern China.

Diagnosis. Polypoid body entirely soft. Oral end exhibits a central mouth and circular oral disc surrounded by a whorl of eight long, unbranched, flexible tentacles. Columnar trunk highly extensible, exhibiting closely spaced, fine longitudinal grooves and stripes on the surface. Aboral end blunt or pointed.

Qiang Ou, Degan Shu, Zhifei Zhang, Jian Han, Heyo Van Iten, Meirong Cheng, Jie Sun, Xiaoyong Yao, Rong Wang and Georg Mayer. 2022. Dawn of Complex Animal Food Webs: A New Predatory Anthozoan (Cnidaria) from Cambrian. The Innovation. 3(1); 100195. DOI: 10.1016/j.xinn.2021.100195


[Botany • 2021] Didymocarpus laoticus, D. trilobus, Paraboea planiflora, et al. • Six New Species and Eight New Records of Gesneriaceae from Laos

Didymocarpus trilobus Souvann. & Phonep.,   D. laoticus Souvann. & Lanors., 
 D. angustiflorus Souvann. & Lanors.,   D. bolavenensis Souvann., Soulad. & Phonep., 

in Souvannakhoummane, Lanorsavanh, Tagane, ... et Lamxay, 2021. 
Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 73(2)

Six new species of Gesneriaceae from Laos, namely Didymocarpus angustiflorus Souvann. & Lanors., D. bolavenensis Souvann., Soulad. & Phonep., D. laoticus Souvann. & Lanors., D. trilobus Souvann. & Phonep., Hemiboea olivifolia Souvann. & Tagane and Paraboea planiflora Souvann. & Lanors., are described and illustrated. Additionally, Aeschynanthus bracteatus Wall. ex A.DC., A. micranthus C.B.Clarke, Epithema ceylanicum Gardner, Lysionotus serratus D.Don, Microchirita luteola C.Puglisi, Paraboea swinhoei (Hance) B.L.Burtt, Petrocosmea kerrii Craib and Pseudochirita guangxiensis (S.Z.Huang) W.T.Wang, are newly recorded for the flora of Laos.

Keywords. Didymocarpus, flora of Laos, Hemiboea, new distribution, new taxon, Paraboea, taxonomy

Didymocarpus angustiflorus Souvann. & Lanors., sp. nov. 

Morphologically similar to Didymocarpus payapensis Nangngam & J.F.Maxwell from Thailand, in habit, elliptic lamina, and glabrous and salverform corolla, but differs in having lamina abaxially puberulent (vs glabrous), calyx 5-parted to base, green, with glands outside (vs calyx lobes divided c. 2/3 to the base, maroon, sparsely covered with multicellular glandular hairs and scattered pigment glands), corolla 1.5– 2.2 cm long, dark blue with white patch in mouth (vs c. 2.5 cm long, dark purple), filaments sparsely multicellular glandular puberulent (vs glabrous), and style glabrous (vs sparsely covered with multicellular glandular hairs).

Distribution. Central Laos (known only from the type locality in Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area). 

Habitat and phenology. Didymocarpus angustiflorus grows on moist rocks in evergreen forest, along with Globba sp., Monolophus sp. (Zingiberaceae), Sonerila sp. (Melastomataceae), Begonia hymenophylla Gagnep. (Begoniaceae) and some ferns. Flowering from July to August and fruiting from September to October (observed from cultivation). 

Etymology. The specific epithet refers to its narrow cylindrical corolla tube
Vernacular name. ດອກແກຫຼອດມ່ວງ (Dok Kea Loth Mouang).

Didymocarpus bolavenensis Souvann., Soulad. & Phonep., sp. nov. 

Morphologically similar to Didymocarpus inflatus J.F.Maxwell & Nangngam from Thailand, in habit, ovate lamina, campanulate glabrous calyx, and cylindric ovary, but differs in the salverform to narrowly funnelform corolla which is 3–3.5 cm long, lobes purple with white lines in the mouth (vs funnelform, 4 cm long, lobes violet with dark violet-reddish lines in mouth), and broadly reniform corolla lobes (vs lobes suborbicular).

Distribution. Southern Laos (so far known only from the Bolaven Plateau). 

Habitat and phenology. Didymocarpus bolavenensis grows on a wet and shaded table rock located near a stream in lower montane evergreen forest. The surface of the rock is covered with humus formed from mosses and ferns. Flowering from August to September and fruiting from September to November. 

Etymology. The specific epithet of this taxon refers to the type locality. 
Vernacular name. ດອກແກມ່ວງບໍລະເວນ (Dok Kea Mouang Bolaven). 


Didymocarpus laoticus Souvann. & Lanors., sp. nov. 

The new species is morphologically similar to Didymocarpus sinoindicus N.S.Prasanna, Lei Cai & V.Gowda in habit, ovate lamina and ovary shape, but differs in having calyx 10–13 mm long, white, glabrous (vs 4–6 mm long, cream-white to greenish yellow, covered with peltate pigment glands outside), corolla 30–32 mm long, white with dark blue in the mouth (vs corolla 8.5–12 cm long, cream-white to greenish yellow with purple striations in the mouth), and ovary glabrous (vs ovary covered with peltate pigment glands). 

Distribution. Central Laos (Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area in Bolikhamxai Province). 

Habitat and phenology. It was found growing on wet rocks near a small stream in mixed deciduous forest where Dendrocalamus membranaceus Munro (Poaceae) is dominant. Flowering from late July to August. 

Etymology. The specific epithet refers to where the type material was collected. 
Vernacular name. ດອກແກຂາວໃຈຟ້າ (Dok Kea Khao Jai Fa).

Didymocarpus trilobus Souvann. & Phonep., sp. nov. 

The new species is morphologically similar to Didymocarpus albiflorus Souvann. & Phonep., in having corolla funnelform, but differs in often lacking larger basal leaves (vs with larger basal leaves in D. albiflorus), calyx campanulate and 3-lobed (vs funnelform and 5-lobed), corolla dark purple (vs white), and ovary glabrous (vs sparsely glandular puberulent).

Distribution. Central Laos (so far known from two small populations in Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, in Vientiane and Bolikhamxai). 

Habitat and phenology. It is common in seasonal deciduous forest mixed with bamboo at an altitude of 300 m and grows on wet rocks with mosses and Adiantum sp. (Adiantaceae). Flowering from July to August and fruiting from August to October. The above-ground part of the plants dries up completely in January (recorded from cultivated living collection). 

Etymology. The species epithet of this taxon refers to the three lobes of the calyx due to the upper lobes fusing into a single lobe.
Vernacular name. ດອກແກມ່ວງໃຫຍ່ (Dok Kea Mouang Yai).

Hemiboea olivifolia Souvann. & Tagane, sp. nov. 

Morphologically similar to Hemiboea cavaleriei H.Lév., but differs in having lamina succulent and dark waxy olive-green adaxially, and corolla white and glabrous outside (vs lamina herbaceous in H. cavaleriei var. cavaleriei, lamina papery to thinly papery in H. cavaleriei var. paucinervis W.T.Wang & Z.Y.Li and both varieties non-waxy olive-green on adaxial surface; corolla outside pale yellow and sparsely glandular puberulent).

Distribution. Northern Laos (Pha Nam Yard Forest Reserve Area, Louangphabang Province). 

Habitat and phenology. It grows on a limestone hill in deciduous forest, c. 300 m from the banks of the Mekong River, where the stable humidity, essential for the survival of this species, comes from the river. It occurs with Amorphophallus yunnanensis Engl. (Araceae), Impatiens parishii Hook.f. (Balsaminaceae), Dracaena sp. (Asparagaceae) and Asplenium sp. (Aspleniaceae). Flowering from October to November and fruiting in December. 

Etymology. The specific epithet of this taxon refers to the olive-green upper leaf surface. 
Vernacular name. ດອກລະຄັງເງິນ (La Khang Ngeurn).

Paraboea planiflora Souvann. & Lanors., sp. nov. 

Morphologically similar to Paraboea khaoyaica Kaitongsuk et al. in habit and in having an almost flat-faced corolla (Kaitongsuk et al., 2021), but differs in bracts broadly oblanceolate to oblong, calyx with a scattered glandular indumentum, and corolla minutely pubescent outside (vs bracts linear or lanceolate, calyx glabrous, and corolla glabrous in P. khaoyaica).

Distribution. Central Laos (Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, in Bolikhamxai and Saysomboun Province). 

Habitat and phenology. Paraboea planiflora grows on open to semi-shaded rocks in mixed deciduous forest with bamboo, and is often common near streams. Flowering from July to August and fruiting from August to September. 

Etymology. The specific epithet of this taxon refers to the flat-faced corolla
Vernacular name. ຊາລຶສີ (Sa Leu Si).

Keooudone Souvannakhoummane, Soulivanh Lanorsavanh, Shuichiro Tagane, Phetlasy Souladeth, Phongphayboun Phonepaseuth, Wittaya Pongamornkul and Vichith Lamxay. 2021. Six New Species and Eight New Records of Gesneriaceae from Laos. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 73(2); 427 - 456.